All of these factors might easily lead to problems, at a time when employers are often spoiled for choice of workers, particularly for the sort of entry level and moderately skilled jobs most often taken up as the first rung by people leaving unemployment and worklessness. Employers themselves might be willing to persist with workers trying to hold down a new job, but may lack the skills or experience to help overcome problems. This adds up to new needs across the provider base:
- Systems for keeping track of where beneficiaries are, whether they have stayed in work, progressed to a different employer, or returned to benefits.
- Skills in dealing, often at short notice, with unpredictable problems as they arise.
- An ability to keep employers on side if things start to go wrong.
- Links to others able to help solve the issues which might be keeping someone from continuing to go to work.
- Building on getting the placement right in the first place, with clear expectations from both participants and employers as to how things should progress, and placing people with the right attitudes and skills in roles suitable for them.
ESF projects are demonstrating many of the challenges from and solutions to keeping people in work, including:
- Working with employers to get the placement right in the first place, and provide support after employment begins
- Targeting support and opportunities for particular groups and towards specific jobs – including self employment
- Professional support roles such as key workers.
- Helping in particularly disadvantaged areas such as the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly